State And Local Government Meeting

Reta Jo Lewis
Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs 
Fort De France, Martinique
March 23, 2010

On behalf of the Department of State and the U.S. Government, President Obama and Secretary Clinton, thank you to the French for hosting today’s meeting and to the state and local officials here who have taken the time out of your busy schedules to focus on the reconstruction of Haiti. We are looking forward to today’s robust discussion.

Also, I would like to introduce Mayor Nagin of New Orleans, for leading our delegation, Kenneth McClintock, the Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State of Puerto Rico, Jose Rodriguez-Suarez, Puerto Rico’s Deputy Secretary of State, Mayor Andre Pierre of North Miami, Deputy Manhattan Borough President, Rosemonde Pierre-Louis and Kwame Raoul, State Senator from Illinois.

We aim to invest in the long-term in both infrastructure and sectors. We have particular interest in investing in agriculture, energy, health and rule of law. We will work in partnership with the Haitian Government to build its capacity - both at the central government and local levels. We hope your governments will do the same.

We are working closely with the Haitian Development Authority for the identification and implementation of projects committed to reconstruction and are relying on the local officials for management, planning and to be transparent on how the money is being used.

I would like to turn the floor over to Mayor Nagin, our delegation leader, who will address the plenary session.